Dick Morris: Optimism Is the Key Strategy for a Trump Victory


The Democratic Convention opened the door for the Trump campaign to run on a central theme: belief in America.

The dour pessimism which oozed from every orifice at the convention sets up a beautiful contrast between the two candidates and their parties: optimism v. pessimism; belief in America v. doubt about America.

Democrats believe the virus may conquer us. Republicans believe we will conquer the virus.

Democrats predict a shaky economy at best and a prolonged recession at worst. But Republicans believe the ongoing economic comeback will continue and, if Trump wins, accelerate.

Democrats believe Iran is out of control and that the Middle East may erupt into another war. Republicans believe that our sanctions have crippled Iran and only the hope of a Biden victory sustains the Mullahs.

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Republicans also believe that the recent peace deals in the Middle East set up a grand anti-Iran coalition of Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States against Iran and that they will cut off funding from Hamas.

So the Trump campaign should say to the Democrats: How can you lead a country when you don’t believe in its future? Republicans should sound the theme: Believe in American and make it great again.

The Biden campaign would rather make the race a personal referendum on Trump’s style, temperament and personality. But the race will inevitably revolve around the Trump record and what it means for our future.

The Democratic strategy is to throw mud at Trump with an unending series of suggestive, titillating accusations and inferences from a plethora of books to keep the president in a permanent state of rage.

Do you think optimism is a winning message for the Trump campaign?

But the Trump campaign, by echoing a message of optimism, can cut through that miasma.

Too many of the Republican Party, Republican PAC and Trump campaign ads harp on a bill of particulars against Biden: His frailty, his radical agenda, how he has been captured by the radical left and his failure to rein in his supporters from their anti-police screed.

It’s time to pivot to a simple message: We believe in America and they don’t. We believe we will master the virus, rev up the economy and create jobs and rising incomes for minorities to counter the social injustice narrative of the Democrats.

And the stats prove we are right:

  • New virus cases down from 75,821 on July 17 to 34,364 on Sept 15.
  • Deaths down from 2701 on May 6 to 1067 on Sept. 15.
  • New jobs created over the past four months: 10.6 million
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The pro-Trump ads need to cite these stats (and individual state numbers for battleground states).

When we convert pessimists into optimists, we switch voters from Biden to Trump.

And, of course, when the vaccine arrives, it’s ballgame over!

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.